Pugster® Amethyst Buddleia Receives Prestigious 2024 Flower of the Year Award from Japan Flower Selections Association

by Anna

In a notable recognition of horticultural excellence, Pugster® Amethyst Buddleia, a distinguished member of the Proven Winners® ColorChoice® lineup, has clinched the coveted 2024 Flower of the Year award conferred by the Japan Flower Selections Association (JFA).

The accolade stems from rigorous evaluations of nominated plants, conducted through extensive field and greenhouse examinations at Chiba University. These season-long trials, focusing on cut flowers, potted plants, and garden plants, culminated in the selection of sixty-one varieties as award winners. Among these, Pugster Amethyst Buddleia emerged as the top performer in the garden plant category, securing the prestigious Flower of the Year accolade.

Masashi Fujiwara, the marketing director at Hakusan, the company overseeing all Proven Winners ColorChoice shrubs in Japan on behalf of Spring Meadow, emphasized the significance of this accolade. “This [Plant of the Year] award is the most famous and prestigious one in Japan,” he stated. “A New Standard for Good Flowers” encapsulates the motto of JFA, underscoring their confidence in Pugster Amethyst as the preeminent new garden plant introduction in Japan for the year.

Pugster Amethyst (Buddleia d. ‘SMNBDL’) boasts large, fragrant, amethyst-purple flowers that beckon pollinators. Noteworthy for being deer-resistant, drought-tolerant, and heat-resistant, this exceptional cultivar has captured the attention of horticultural enthusiasts and experts alike.

The development of the Pugster series of Buddleia, including Pugster Amethyst, is credited to Spring Meadow Nursery in collaboration with the University of Connecticut. The series stands out for its unique fusion of full-sized flowers on a compact, robust plant, reaching a modest height and width of 2′ (0.6m). Pugster butterfly bushes showcase their blooming prowess from early summer through frost, exhibiting thick, sturdy stems that enhance their winter survival compared to other dwarf butterfly bushes.

Having garnered acclaim in Europe, North America, and now Japan, the Pugster Buddleia series stands as a testament to its global recognition and appeal within the horticultural community.

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